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Making Money Doing What You Love The Hero’s Journey in Amsterdam

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  1. 1. The Heros Journey in AmsterdamMaking Money Doing What You Love
  2. 2. Travel in a worldcity and meet your heroes and heroines, who earn their money doing what they love. They will inspire you to create your own legend.Peter de Kuster Founder of The Heros Journey
  3. 3. Enjoy your journey!
  4. 4. Making MoneyDoing What They Love These skills include:Attention all artists, musicians, designers, filmmakers, sports heroes, actors, writers and anyone whos working in the creative fields even if your chosen profession is not the most conventinal one, cultivating and growing a successful, financially rewarding career is still your goal. In The Heros Journey in Amsterdam I Peter de Kuster will provide you with the stories of heroes and heroines from Amsterdam (past and present) on overcoming some of the specific challenges faced by creative, entrepreneurial, innovative and right-brainer people, who want a career that is both satisfying and successful. Creative entrepreneurs, freelancers and professionals need a set of skills that will turn their passion into a viable career. How to choose a career that best suits your talents. Setting realistic goals using right-brain techniques. How to avoid the pitfalls that ruin a creative career. How to schmooze your way to success. How to create a business plan when you are the business. How to be disciplined when you are your own boss.When you find an outlet for your creativity in the form of a career, youll discover a freedom in your working life that you can live with on the long term. You can follow your passion, build a brillant career, and have financial security if you know which skills to use. Let me show you the way in this travel guide of Amsterdam.
  5. 5. IntroductionThere is no such thing as a Santa Claus and theres certainly no such thing as the perfect career. Thats what many people really think, and its sad, because there are plenty of rewarding, challenging and fulfilling career opportunities that allow creative people to use their gifts and be rewarded handsomely for their efforts. Those who settle for less than the best, simply havent found the right job yet. You can have it all when it comes to a creative career if you know how.The fact is that most people hate their jobs. They would rather be doing something else anything else. It doesnt have to be that way. What if I told you that you would never have to work another day in your life? Would you be interested? When you find the right fit in a career, it no longer feels like work. You wake up every day excited about how you earn your living. This perfect harmonizing of your talents, skills, personality and work style creates a passion and a desire, as well as a feeling of contentment that is worth more than gold. It can be yours, if you will read this travel guide of Amsterdam.
  6. 6. The challenge of this journey is, that the creative business is very different from other businesses. To get ahead, you sometimes have to zigzag to the top. Let the stories of creative heroes and heroines of Amsterdam show you when to zig and when to zag, to make the most of the opportunities out there. Using a map of Amsterdam you embark on a journey, an adventure in search of yourself. The thing is, there isnt a golden (or orange) egg waiting for you, when you get to the spot marked X on the map. The buried treasure is within you. The pursuit of the gold (or the goal) is the reward. Because, when it comes to a career, there is no there there. It is all a quest. Enjoying the quest is what success is all about. This is the age of opportunity for the creative person. Innovation and ideas are gold. Ridicule and red tape are being replaced with respect and rewards for the clever and creative person. The business environment is changing, and changing for the better for you. Are you ready for these exciting times ahead? This travel guide of Amsterdam will put you in a position to prosper. What parents, teachers and bosses might see as problems (sloppiness, habitual tardiness, short attention span, non-conformism), can actually be hidden assets in the search for work in a rewarding, interesting and creative career.Intuition, emotion, divergent thinking, daydreaming, thriving on chaos, bigpicture thinking, cleverness, openmindedness and an ability to play and have fun are virtues in the right setting. Even so, its not exactly easy to build a career in the creative business world. You have to be able to deal with rejection. It is a part of everyday life for the creative person. There is also that funny feeling that you dont quite fit in and you dont. An unconventional person with unconventional ideas, you are often seen as immature, temperamental, moody, difficult, distracted, irresponsible, and irrational. The truth is, you can be your wonderful self and still get ahead in the business world. This travel guide of Amsterdam will help you manage your career using a wholebrain approach that takes advantage of the way you are, without forgetting the way the world works.
  7. 7. The Heros JourneyYour Quest
  8. 8. The Heros JourneyIts time to move on, move up, and move out with a new mission. The Heros Journey is about taking charge of your destiny so that no idiot can control your fate. Most books are very thorough, when it comes to identifying and informing you about the problems and pitfalls of a creative career. However, what they lack, is the - What the hell am I supposed to do about it? - part. I decided to make the Heros Journey travel guides about real life heroes and heroines, of past and present, in Amsterdam with heavy on concrete tips, anecdotes and lessons to be learned from them. New creative careers and enterprises are popping up all the time. There has never been a better time to strike out on your own. This is your time to shine as a creative person. The future looks bright. Many of the current trends favor your preferred mode of operation selfreliance, zigzagging to the top, rapid change, multitasking, chaos, adaptability, intuition, training and retraining.This travel guide of Amsterdam will show you how to find your career niche, and then how to earn a living doing what you love. You will learn how to overcome the challenges the creative right-brainer faces, and how to make your nature and your creativity work for you. Youll learn how to market yourself even in a crowded marketplace, survive and thrive in the battlefield that is entrepreneurship. How to be your own boss and work for others, take the free out of freelance, rise to the top without stepping on too many toes, and use your natural abilities to find a perfect pitch and harmony in your work world. The Heros Journey is in reality about your life. There is a direct, undeniable correlation between your career and your life. Its less about what you do for a living than what you can live with doing. Finding fun and fulfillment at work spills over into the rest of your life. Without it, your health will suffer, your creativity will suffer, your performance will suffer and so will everybody around you. You dont need to live that way.
  9. 9. If you are thinking about giving up on a creative career and getting a real job, stop right there. When you settle for less than whats best for you, you instantly get less than you settled for. Dont sell yourself short. The regret will eat you up inside. Dont miss your chance - it may be right around the corner. Instead, get going and go for it be bold. Use the strategies of heroes and heroines in Amsterdam to give you an advantage. Dont let others push boulders in your path and fill your head with facts like most businesses fail in the first year, Its too competitive out there, there are no (dancing) jobs, you dont have enough experience or talent or you have no agent. Its bad enough that these insecure and misinformed people are telling you why you cant succeed. Its worse if you believe them. Dont let anyone talk your dreams down.Quote: Here comes your quote.This travel guide through Amsterdam is for creative people in all walks of life carpenter or composer, dancer or painter, poet or musician, philosopher or travel guide, magician or designer, architect or writer, actor or account manager. It isnt meant to apply to just the glamour jobs; whatever form your creativity takes, you can apply these stories. For everyone who tells you: You cant make a living doing that!, there are hundreds and thousands of examples of creative heroes and heroines, in all the cities of the world, who found a way to turn something they thought was fun and would even do for free, into a fulfilling life and career. I will help you as your travel guide to take your powerful creative energy and harness it, and you will beat the odds, making a living doing what you love to do. Your life will become a heros journey story.
  10. 10. YourQuestFew people know what they want when they grow up, and even fewer creative people want to grow up. Maybe you wont discover your true calling until you test-drive several dream jobs and work with some rolemodels. Isnt it better to testdrive them, using that incredible imagination of yours than waste years on a dead-end-job? One of the key things youll work on here is defining what you want to do (not for the rest of your life, but what you want to do now) and eliminating the careers that arent a fit. The choices that lead to a life of creative expression and financial security are here for the making. The catch is, that creative careers are often unconventional and in some cases completely unchartered. The challenge is that there are a million different things you could do. The key to success in any career is clarity. Becoming clear about who you are and what you love is the first part of this travel guide through Amsterdam. Then, how to get what you want is covered in great detail. Its hard work, but this is your chance to reinvent yourself. Dont let it pass you by.
  11. 11. Chapter 1The Creative HeroRijksmuseum
  12. 12. 1The Creative HeroSuccess for a creative hero can be tremendous. Not just in money, but in creative freedom. Look at the list of the highestpaid actors and entrepreneurs they are all people who dont fit any mold, but theyre also people who used that fact to their benefit. You can do it too, in your own way, on your own time, reaching your own goals. Unmire yourself from the myths about creative people. Dont be afraid to look at your strenghts and weaknesses. Face the fact that traditional business management, which is left-brain, logical and linear (not to mention rigid, boring, and counterproductive), doesnt work for you. It isnt much fun and if it isnt at least a little bit of fun, youre not going to do it. Its that simple. If its not fast, fun, flexible and easy, you are less likely to embrace it. Be willing to work within a system as long as its one that you create and one that works with you, as well as for you.Creatives have an insatiable hunger to achieve, create, accomplish. They want to be recognized and heard, receive applause and take home awards. They desire change, to create a body of work, to earn and to make deals. Many people who dont know what they want actually want too much, too fast.
  13. 13. The key to success is, learning how to focus on whats most important. Its counterproductive trying to do too many things at once nor is it good to focus on only one area of your life or work. One way to whittle it down (focus) and spread it around (multifocus) is, to choose a top goal for each aspect of your life. Take a good, hard look at who you are, whats your story and what you want out of life. Sometimes, having everything to be just okay, having an adequate job and a moderate life, is the biggest tragedy of all. Take the time now to find yourself, so you can live your life without getting lost and make good decisions, that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire. We are all born creative. What happens to us from kindergarten to college shapes how much of that creativity stays with us. Some, despite the best efforts of the school system and the corporate system to stamp out the creative spirit, slip through the cracks, creativity intact. You are still not safe. Ninetyeight percent of the people in the world, are living the leftbrained life. Society tends to reward the left brain (structure, status quo) and reprimand the right brain (chaos, creativity, innovation).Quote: Here comes your quote.
  14. 14. You can stunt your creative spirit with disuse. You cannot lose a talent, but your skills can certainly atrophy. Almost any job can be done creatively. Entrepreneurs must be creative to survive. Managing people can be done creatively. Marketing, communication and sales, certainly involve a degree of creativity. Even distribution and finance can be a right-brained affair. What makes any career interesting, exciting and vital, is the creative approach you take to it. People who ignore their creative gifts in their careers, are frustrated and unhappy by midlife (or much sooner). Happiness comes from finding your greatest gifts and abilities and then developing, and using them, in the work you do. Creativity and creative careers involve a whole-brain approach, an interaction between the left hemisphere of your brain (the detail oriented accountant side) and the right hemisphere (the big picture, artistic side). The right brain comes up with the ideas, and the left brain implements them. Too much right brain and nothing gets done; too much left brain and life is dull and uninspiring.As a right-brainer you are absolutely unique (and wonderful). There has never been anyone like you and there will never be again. Ponder that for a moment. Beneath all the self-doubt, guilt, fear, remorse, and distorted stories is a gem of a person who, more than anything, deserves to be happy, successful and fulfilled. To have a career that is challenging and rewarding. A career that fits like a glove and is such a joy that you would do it for free. But, is so valuable to others, that you are paid well. And why not? You have found your place in the universe, you are making a contribution with your talent and creativity. Once you understand yourself and what work you enjoy doing, you can work with your natural abilities and tendencies rather than against them. It makes life much easier. This is something that is unique to you. It is what will work best for you. So dont just breeze past the questions in this travel guide. Make the time to really give some thought to who you are, what you want to do, and what the best way would be to do it. I have always said that to find yourself you need to go on a journey. You need time for reflection, away from the hustle and bustle of your busy life, to open yourself to new possibilities.
  15. 15. QuizDo you honestly love what you do now? Are you excited to go to work on Monday? Do you go home happy? If you answered no to any of these questions, there is a better way for your beautiful mind.The following quiz should give you an indication of where your natural tendencies lie left brain, right brain, or whole brain. Answer honestly and quickly. Dont dwell on the answers, and dont try to figure out what Im looking for. We are going to explore new worlds together in.
  16. 16. 1.There is no right answer!When it comes to emotions, a. I can articulate my feeling to others. b. I am better at expressing my emotions through my creative work.2.I have always been told a. Id make a great accountant. b. I was a natural born artist.3.Success is a. closely related to annual income. b. unrelated to the money I make.7. When it comes to a big project, my strength is in seeing a. the worms eye view (details). b. the birds eye view (the big picture).4.When trying to explain how I came up with an idea, a. I am able to put it into terms others can understand. b. I feel like an alien from another planet.8. When my boss or client puts me on the spot, a. I say what I mean and mean what I say. b. I tell him what I think he wants to hear.5. When I am working on a project, a. I am not happy until its done. b. I enjoy the process.9. Joking around the water cooler, Ive been compared to a. Rembrandt. b. Johan Cruijff.6. Its a beautiful summer day, but I have work to do. I will a. get my work done first and then go to the beach. b. go to the Rijksmuseum and deal with my work later.10. When I have several unfinished projects going at once, I feel a. frustrated. b. stimulated.Quote: Here comes your quote.
  17. 17. 11. When it comes to decorating my office, a. I find an arrangement that works and stick with it. b. I rearrange everything at least every six months.14. Im more like a. John de Mol (logical) b. Joop van den Ende (intuitive)12. Multitasking for me is a. doing two things at once. b. talking on the phone, internetting, sending an email, watching the sports on TV, making faces to a friend and sorting through the mail at once.15. After work a. I go home, or maybe out with people in my project. b. I like to go to places where people from other projects hang out.16. Before I speak, a. I think it through and censor it in my head. b. I say the first thing that pops into my head.13. When Im asked to bring something to a party a. I bring paper plates. b. I have a new recipe Im dying to try out.
  18. 18. 17. 18. When it comes to problem-solving a. I analyze things from a logical perspective. b. I consult my gut for an answer.19. My car is a. practical and safe. b. stylish and fun to drive.20. I am best at remembering a. names. b. faces.21. Whenever there is a crisis in my life, a. I retreat into myself and try to solve it on my own. b. I prefer to talk it over with others.22. Quote: Here comes your quote.Im running late for an important meeting and a dear friend calls with a relationship crisis, a. I explain that I am in a hurry and will call him back as soon as I can. b. I say the hell with the meeting. My friend needs me now.In making decisions, a. I tend to focus on the actualities. b. I tend to focus on the possibilities.
  19. 19. 27. 28. 23. 24. I write with my a. right hand. b. left hand. I am a natural born a. learner. b. teacher.25. If I had two yearlong projects to choose from, Id pick a. an analysis of the companys past and future profit centres. b. working on the companys marketing materials.26. When I meet a prospective client/employer, a. I have a written list of questions to cover. b. I talk off the top of my head, taking my cue from them.When I am learning a new software program, a. Read the manual and then begin. b.What manual? I figure things out on my own. I believe a. you can make things happen through sheer force of will. b. there is a force in the universe that brings things to you.29. I just met with a prospective client/employer whom I really connected with. When I leave, I a. shake their hand. b. give them a hug.30. If I could choose my working hours, theyd start at a. 6.00 oclock in the morning. b. 6.00 oclock in the evening.31. My daily routine is most like the movie: a. Het Dagboek van Anne Frank (little variety) b.Ciske de Rat (adventures every day)
  20. 20. 32. Its my birthday and my friends have thrown me a surprise party, I am a. embarrassed (I dont like surprises). b. thrilled (I love surprises).33. When someone asks about my vacation, a. I give them names and places. b. I describe in intricate detail how wonderful I felt to be away, and talk about all the things I saw, the wonderful people I met and the fun I had. Quote: Here comes your quote.34. 35. Quote: Here comes your quote.When I get the paper, I usually turn first to a. the business section. b. the comics. While out to lunch with friends, I have an urgent call and ask them to order for me. They a. know exactly what I want because I always get the same thing. b. dont have a clue because I am always trying something new.36. If the meeting is scheduled for 10 oclock a. I arrive a quarter of an hour early. I am known for my punctuality. b. I try not to be the last person to show, but how was I to know traffic would be so sad?
  21. 21. 37. 42. If I lost my planner I would be completely lost. a. My whole life is in there. b. Im sure thats where I stuck the little paper that has the name and number of the client who urgently needed a call back yesterday on it.38. My idea of organization is a. making a list of all the things to be done and then prioritizing the tasks. b. Playing with my Post-It-Notes, putting them on the wall in some sort of order.39. When I am working and the phone rings, I will a. look at it as a nuisance and let it ring. b. look at it as a welcome break and pick it up.40. My boss/client likes to say a. I keep my nose to the grindstone. b. I keep my head in the clouds.41. I learn best when you a. tell me what to do. b. show me what to do.If I were on a game show and my winning totalled 10.000 euro with the option to keep what I have or risk it all on one more question for double or nothing, I would more likely a. take the money and run. b. bet it all.43. If I were going to clean out my desk, I would take the following approach: a. Do it a little at a time until I am finished. b. Pull everything from the drawers and do as much as I could before pushing the rest back in.44. If I were offered a promotion that involved moving to Hong Kong for two years, a. Id opt out because I dont speak Chinese. b. Id been on the phone with my travel agent in two seconds flat.45. I am ready to leave for work, and a. I know exactly where my care keys are. b. I go on a searchanddestroy mission until the keys turn up.46. When I log on to the internet, I do it with a. a plan and a purpose: get in, get out. b. a sort of stream of consciousness, pausing to look at whatever catches my fancy.47. When researching a project, a. I find as many books and articles as I can and read them from front to back. b. I ask someone for tips on the best places to look and skim those.
  22. 22. Results of the quizIn the quiz, a answers count zero; b answers count 1.If your total is 15 or less, you must have bought this travel guide for somebody else and youre just going through the quizzes for kicks, because youre just a serious left-brainer. A total of 16 to 35 indicates a fairly balanced, whole-brain approach to the world, or a right-brainer who was working in the financial services. You will go far if you can learn to loosen up a little.48. If I inadvertently offended a co-worker, Id a. say nothing, hire a lawyer and hope the whole thing blows over. b. have a sit down and discuss his or her feelings while apologizing profusely.49. When it comes to remembering all the things I have to do: a. I make a master list down to the last detail. b. What was the question again?50. My office desk is organized in such a way that a. anybody could come in and find what they need quickly. b. I pity anyone who has to try to figure out my system.With a total over 35, you can consider yourself a right-brainer. A Creative Hero, with all the blessings and curses attached to it. If you came up with your own answer even once, refusing to go with the choices offered, give yourself a star. You are a true right brainer, an independent thinker, an original, a creative hero.Quote: Here comes your quote.
  23. 23. Chapter 2The Great Traits of Creative HeroesHotel Conservatorium
  24. 24. 2The Great Traits of Creative HeroesWhile nobody uses only their right brain or left brain, most creatives tend to rely heavily on their right brains the source of their creativity Because of that many of the following statements will apply to you.Even whole-brainers (those who operate equally from both hemispheres) will recognize themselves in it, but are often tempered by the logical, stabilizing influence of the left brain. The right-brainer is able to compare and combine two things that are not usually related. The creative mind is not limited by normal boundaries, and therefore, can see relationships that arent obvious to others. The right-brainer sees abstract concepts and then is able to express them in concrete terms.The right-brainer has a strong appreciation of art. The assumption is, that creative people always create art. That is not the case. There are careers for people who appreciate the arts.
  25. 25. Right-brainers tend to have rich and vivid memories. Right-brainers are able to remember faces and places, but arent so hot at names and titles. They retain images better than words. They remember themes and scenes from movies, but not the names of the actors or the director. The right brain remembers feelings good and bad.Right-brainers appreciate nature and have the ability to find beauty everywhere. Creative people desperately need to stop and smell the flowers. Or hear the sounds of the sirens. To keep in touch with life and beauty, their super sensitive senses trigger their creativity. Creatives respond to their surroundings. It is a blessing and a curse to be tuned in. Being creative sometimes means, being lonely in a crowd. When I start talking about intuition and inspiration, with other than creative people, they stare at me.Quote: Here comes your quote.Creative people have the pioneering spirit that it takes to do things differently, regardless of the grief that they may take from (and give to) others. They are eager to go where nobody has gone before. The great unknown is more interesting and inspiring than the safe and secure. It is intoxicating to be involved with an idea on the ground level. The early stages of the creative process are magical, where anything is possible and reality is way off in the distance. (Then, the left brain enters the story and ruins all the fun.)Right-brainers welcome challenges. They are able to see the big picture and tackle problems on a total story scale. They use intuition, rather than facts and figures, to find new and better solutions. Although right-brainers may be in touch with trends, theyre more likely to start trends. They are leaders, not followers. They are flexible. Passionate. When it comes to getting their ideas come true, they are relentless.
  26. 26. Right-brainers are open-minded and less prone to prejudice. Creatives often have high ethical and moral standards. Gray matter thinkers, in a black and white world, often see more than one right answer and maybe even more than one question.
  27. 27. The Weak Traitsare not so weakRight-brainers feel things more deeply than most other people do. Thats why they create. To express what they are feeling through their work. Right-brainers are impulsive. That live-for-today attitude and being in the moment works for the storyteller in them. But, to succeed, theyve got to give some thought to the future. There can be long-term consequences, when they play now and pay later.For right-brainers, all play has a purpose its fun. This attitude makes them seem immature. Left-brainers like rules, a purpose and a plan, even for play and worse, they need a reason to do it. Right-brainers tend to be sloppy. Not disorganized, just not organized in a way an uptight left-brained person would like them to be. Many creatives feel neatness is a waste of time.Divergent thinkers often go off on tangents, and are frequently seen as scatter-brained. Its hard to concentrate, when youre not inspired or interested. It takes discipline to get started and stick with the business side of creative business. Creatives can work harder than anybody if they find something they love to do. They just have a hard time learning to love math, taxes, regular business hours, and client follow up.Right-brainers are particularly vulnerable to the they are going to find me out any minute syndrome. They may be confident about their work, but not about them-selves. Insecurity often rules them. Alcoholism, drug addiction, depression all are very real dangers for the rightbrainer.Leaping ahead, seeing the big picture, creatives lose those people who want to take it step by step and see things in black and white. Sometimes this makes them angry. Right-brainers spend a lot of time dealing (or not dealing) with frustration.Although right-brainers arent necessarily self-destructive, they are prone to overindulgence, which can lead to the same thing. Right brainers high ideals make them inflexible. Creatives often expose a dark side to the world. Right-brainers procrastinate. Right-brainers dont like to be told how to do it.As you can see, for every so-called negative trait of creative heroes and heroines, there is a positive side as well.
  28. 28. Chapter 3Motivated to be a Creative HeroConcertgebouw
  29. 29. 3Motivated to be a Creative HeroYou must be self-motivated to make it. In any career you are the boss. If you dont feel like working for weeks at a stretch, nobody will shoot you. But there is always a price.The creative person works well in a relaxed environment. That could be a casual corporate structure, a closeknit company, or off alone. Freedom, individuality and being able to be yourself are serious issues for you, wherever you choose to work. Being a creative hero is not limited to seeing things differently. It often manifests itself in style of dress or hair. Or in the hours we keep. Many creatives are slightly different in basic rituals of daily life: you get hungry at different times, your sleep patterns may be different, you get bursts of energy at times when the average person is ready for a siesta. It pays to tune in to your body.
  30. 30. The more you can adapt your work environment and time table to your innate physical preferences, the more comfortable you will be. Youll find you have boundless energy when youre on a roll.Its amazing the number of hours you can spend, the attention to detail you can muster, and the ideas you can come up when interested. Conversely, if you arent interested, its almost impossible for you to focus, and you feel as if you are unplugged from your energy power. Creatives need constant input and stimulation. That is why a travelling lifestyle appeals to a rightbrainer. It involves experimentation, meetings, multiple places, people, experiences they love, stimulation, visual input and variety. For a creative hero, there is real value in learning and growth, as well as self-expression, freedom, flexibility and passion in work.Quote: Here comes your quote.Left-Brainer do list To Rule maker Life is a bitch Do it right now One-Track-Mind Make it profitable Better safe than sorryIt is important to understand what motivates you. What your concept of success is. You may be much happier, when you work with and for the people you love, the materials and places you love, and the reward is exciting.Right-Brainer be list To Rule breaker Life is a journey Do it right Variety is the spice of life Make it beautiful Playing it safe is sorry
  31. 31. The Creative Life Judgmental people may complain about your short attention span, calling you scatter-brained, lazy, a slob, selfcentred, cynical, impatient, and so on. It takes a toll on even the most secure, and some start believing in it. Dont let that be you. Fight back. Remember that youre special one of 2 percent of the adult population. Remember that you see a bigger world than they do, and move on. Being an unconventional person, in a conventional world, is a small price to pay for the joy of being a creative person. Wear it as a badge of honour. You are one of the chosen ones. Innovators, throughout time, have come under constant attack from critics. What it boils down to is fear and jealousy. They will never have what you have. They will never be what you can be. There are a lot of risks involved with following a creative careerpath. Rewards dont come without risks, and its fortunate that the rightbrainer is built to be able to withstand the pressures. The option is to sit at home and watch others living their dreams on TV. Its not a hard choice, but its one you have to make.To make it in the creative arts, you must have that fire in your belly, that burning desire to succeed. You must believe that no matter what the odds, no matter what others say, you will persevere. You will do what it takes. You will learn to do the business stuff, the networking, the bookkeeping and the planning. You will bounce back from rejection, depression, and obsession. Because of disappointments, highs and lows and critics are everywhere. Not everything will feel like a masterpiece (or even be well received). In a way, thats good. Youll keep trying to improve.
  32. 32. Chapter 4Your Heros JourneyVan Gogh Museum
  33. 33. Your Heros Journey!Life is not an accident. A coincidence. Through careful choices and persistent planning, you can control what happens to you. That sounds boring, doesnt it? Its not. We are talking about your future. Your heros journey! The best way to deal with the future is to invent it. Create your own life story. Your own legend. If you live your life wandering around aimlessly, youre likely to end up in a sort of hell. If you live you life bouncing around, reacting to events and circumstances, youre giving up control over where you will go next. This is a hell of a way to live its stressful and frustrating, and not creative at all. I believe that each of us comes prepackaged with a reason for being, a heros journey. A mission. A purpose. Unfortunately, there is no operating manual or helpline, to make it easy to figure out what that purpose is. However, once you figure out what your heros journey story is, life is sooo much easier and better. It means that you are living on purpose. This translates in doing the right work, in the right environment, with the right people and using your talents and abilities in a way that benefits others, as well as yourself.
  34. 34. This purpose covers every aspect of your life, including having people to love and who care about you (but thats another travel guide). You need a powerful story as a compass to navigate by, to aim for (your heros journey). A storyline, a travel map, so you can plot out the best (and even most scenic route, if that turns you on) to get where youre going (your goals). You can get blown off course and explore new cities, meet interesting people, but you always have that heros journey story to guide you back. Thats what your heros journey does for you. When you arent sure about what you should be doing with your life, it can feel like youre in free fall. For some, the rush of hurtling to the ground is exhilirating. Some dont even seem to realize that they dont have anything (a parachute), to stop them from hitting the ground.In the beginning, it can be exciting to go through life without a plan, a purpose, a story. Many romantic tales have been spun about the vagabond life. Just remember that these stories are written by people, who disciplined themselves just enough to put pen to paper, and enough to sell their stories or art. Being in control of your story means knowing what you want and working toward it. It means waking up every morning saying: Ive got the best job in the world. I absolutely love what I do. If you can say that, everything else in your life will fall into place. Some people know early on what they want. Theyre the lucky ones. Most of us struggle for a while before we find our niche. Thats okay. Enjoy the journey. Consider it a voyage of discovery with treasures on your way. Selfknowledge is a wonderful thing.
  35. 35. How to Find Yourself When You Didnt Know You Were LostBefore you can figure out your niche in the creative scheme of things, you need to understand yourself, your strenghts and weaknesses, your true desires and your personal definition of success. The following questions are designed to make you THINK about yourself from various angles. Answer them quickly. Put down the first thing that pops into your head (before your left brain has a chance to butt in). Dont analyze either the questions or the answers. Be honest nobody has to see this but you.PersonalProfessionalQuote: Here comes your quote.Quote: Here comes your quote.
  36. 36. Personal What is your favourite time of year?What is your favourite hobby? What is your favourite getaway spot? When was the last time you went there?What social settings bring out the best in you? Worst in you? What is your best personality trait? Worst? How would your spouse/partner/best friend answer that?What would you like to change most about your personality? Are you a country person or a city person? Would you prefer a laid-back lifestyle or one that is frantic and fastpaced? Are you more comfortable competing against others or against yourself? Which is more you: safe and secure or reckless and risky? Which would you rather be: healthy and wealthy or healthy and wise?
  37. 37. Professional Do you want more or less travel in your work? Where would you like to go? Would you travel by land, air, or by sea? Would you like to do more or less public speaking in your work? How much money, as an annual salary, would make you feel successful? Which is more challenging: dealing with difficult people or difficult problems?What bores you? Quote: Here comes your quote.Do you prefer to work with your hands or your mind? Indoors or outdoors? With people or with things?What would you eliminate from your present job, right now, if you could?
  38. 38. ProfessionalDo you prefer to deal in concepts or projects? Which is moresatisfying, the process or the product? What is the best description for the environment you would prefer to work in: at home, in a lab, in a book church, in a studio, outside, in an office, on the road, on a set, in a studio, in a tall building, in front of an office, or some other location or setting? Big city/small town, or small city/big town? Do you like to be in charge? Or, do you prefer to be the power behind the throne?What do you like best about your work?If you could have anyones job in the world, whose would it be? What is the most undesirable job you can think of?List jobs you think you would enjoy doing. When do you prefer to work: morning, noon, or night? When would you rather not work? What days would you like to have off? What would be an ideal work schedule for you?List jobs you think you could not and/or would not do.What skills do you like to use the most? What would you like to bring to work that you cant? Kid? Dog? Movie?What task or talent comes easily to you?Name something that is always a struggle to do.What type of people do you enjoy working with the most?Do you prefer to work at a fast pace or to pace yourself? Do you like every day to be different, or do you prefer to slip into a consistent and comfortable routine?What motivates you more, money or a mission? Do you prefer to work alone or in a group? How much time of your day would you like to spend dealing with people, and how much time would you like to be left alone? How many projects can you handle at once? Do you prefer stretches where you work like crazy and then take a break, or do you like to pace yourself and limit your projects?
  39. 39. Your StoryYou have a life story (if you pay attention to it). Take a look at the story of your life thus far. Write your life story from beginning to end (As if you are very old and have already achieved all the things you want. Or, when you hear that you will die today, with an 80% certainty and regret what you havent experienced). What is something that makes you say to yourself (and others): Ill never do that again!. List five heroic stories and five tragic stories from your past. Which was easier to complete? Look at your past life and ask yourself these questions. What do I wish I had done, but didnt do? What have I always wanted to do, but never got around to doing them, yet? What are your most powerful memories from your childhood, teenage years and adulthood? Take a close look at these three memories. What do they have in common? What were the circumstances, the people involved, the tasks you were performing, the setting and the time of year? Quote: Here comes your quote.
  40. 40. List your most rewarding life experiences (paid and unpaid). Are you still engaging in these activities? If not, why not? How can you bring these things back into your life? It is important to appreciate all the things that you have and all the things that you are. The more you appreciate all the things you have going for you, the more you love life. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for in your life. Start small: your health, a place to live, a car, money in the bank, people who love you. Tell a snapshot story of your life today. Do you like what you do for a living? Are you happy? Are you using your talents? Are you able to create? Do you enjoy waking up on weekly mornings? Is it good to be home?Quote: Here comes your quote.Tell a story about yourself on a perfect day. Put in as much detail as you can. Spend some time and thought on this one. Then pin it to where you see it often. This is where you want to live your future life. This is the story about where you are going.Do you have enough money? Do you have a goal for the future.Enjoy your Heros Journey!
  41. 41. Chapter 5Whats your story?Theater Tuschinski
  42. 42. 5Whats your story?When I ask most people what their story is, what they passionately pursue, they stammer: Who, me?. - Yeah, you! -Do you have any passions? You do? You have concrete pursuits attached to them? Just give me one passion you have, with a pursuit for this year. Whats your story? When I ask successful creative heroes to tell me one of their pursuits, they will say something like: I will earn 100.000 euro, with my witing for another book deal, by the end of the year. This pursuit is stated in the positive (I will), is very specific (100.000 euro with my writing) and includes a deadline (by the end of the year). Bravo! Having a specific pursuit, with a deadline is the key to success. You can make excuses or shorten quests, as being too rigid and linear for the creative person.
  43. 43. Having specific, meaningful pursuits of passions, doesnt mean having a rigid story that leaves no room to roam. It simply means that, right now, this is what you want. Dont worry about limiting yourself. You can adjust as you go. It does mean that youre in control of your life, have thought about what the real issues are for you, and have a perspective on new possibilities that develop. Bottom line: Unless you know exactly what you want in life and you can articulate it (on demand, in case we meet), you are just fooling around. You arent serious about success and, frankly, youll probably never achieve it. Having a clear story about your pursuits empowers you. Having a clear picture of what you want drowns out the negatives and attracts the positive things, ideas, and people to help you reach them. A clear story creates focus and clarity, so youre not wasting your energy on dead end jobs.Quote: Here comes your quote.
  44. 44. What happens without a good story?Many creative people have no idea who they are, what they want out of life, where they are going, or what their passion is. Afraid to limit their options, their lives become a series of compromises and unplaned events. They are spinning out of control and feel powerless to stop it. They have zigzagged their way through life, trying this and that. As a phantom. Lack of DirectionsIf you dont know what you want, you can waste a lot of time and energy going in the wrong direction. In the meantime, your career and personal life, can get way off course.Forced CompromiseYou wake up one day and realize your life has been a series of compromises, a series of unplanned events. As a result, you are stuck in a job that you dont really like or that you arent suited for afraid to change. Untapped TalentWithout a story, you can easily get caught up in the current of life, swept away by an endless stream of details. You always seem to be paddling against the current, in a battle between finding time to be creative and getting things done. Once you get off course, it can be very hard to find your way back.
  45. 45. BoredomNot having a powerful story in life, a passion, a purpose for your talents and creativity, is the one thing most lacking in many lives. Without it life can become dull, empty, and uninspiring. Powerless/ CynicismI have heard people describe their lives, as if they were passengers in a car, watching life passing by, while looking out of the window. They feel powerless, and blame everyone and everything for their lack of success, time, happiness, finances or whatever. They blame the government, the economy, reviewers, traffic, competition, and so on. Until you take responsibility for your own success, happiness and time, you remain a victim.Value ConflictWhen your values and your achievements dont align, at best you end up with hollow victories. At worst, you become depressed, angry or resentful. If you value integrity, you cant afford to lie and cheat to get what you want. If you say you want to start a business, but you squander your startup capital, it might be time to look at your values again. Maybe, youre just giving lip service to a value you thought you should have. Or maybe, your selfdestructive behavior has deeper roots. RegretDo you go zigzagging through life, jumping at any opportunity, that sounds interesting or fun? After years of doing this, youre likely to realize that you have nothing to show for the past decade. This will leave you unhappy, unfulfilled, unsuccessful because you tried to live without goals.
  46. 46. With a good story ...Synchronicity With a good story, you get a birdseye view of your life. An overview. Think of being in a balloon over Amsterdam, soaring over the scenery, looking down. Everything seems so small, so clear. You get above the trivial details, about the self doubt. This kind of perspective allows you to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason in the right way.Quote: Here comes your quote.When you tell yourself a powerful story and pick a course of action, unexpected things start to go your way. Unseen forces in the universe begin to say: Yes!!. People and resources come into your life to help. Or, you see them sharply now. It all starts with a clear story about what you want, your goals, your quest, one that you can understand and that you can communicate to others. This works better if you have a real passion for your story. People pick up on your passion, your commitment. They want to contribute, to be part of your story, your excitement, so they offer money, time and their connections.
  47. 47. Your story works for youWhen you have a great story, your mind goes of searching for information and opportunities that can help. You will see your story reflected in the world outside. Why havent you noticed this before now? Your brain, screens out information to avoid overload, which is essential to your survival and success. When you know what your story is, your mind works to incorporate that into what it lets into your consciousness. This can change your life very quickly. You may get lightning ideas, seemingly out of the blue. In reality, the brain is processing all kinds of input from the outside, mixing it with your goals or purpose and eureka!MotivationWe all need a great story that moves us, that we enjoy doing, and that we are good at. We need to feel useful. We need to help others, or belong to a cause larger than ourselves. We know we could help make this a better world, if only on a small scale. In this world of rapid change, people have a deep need to control their own fate. Great stories to tell. yourself about yourself are how to do it.Youre more happyYour stories allow you to really live. You can enjoy the now, and still look at the future. People who are living their dreams, wake up in the moring, excited and full of anticipation. Dont you want to live like that? You cant wait to start the day, youre constantly stimulated, curious, eager to interact with others, passionate about what you are doing, and youre working toward real fullfilment. Your ability to have fun and enjoy life, is tied into the stories you tell yourself and then others. When you know what you want, what you value and what makes you happy, its easier to make decisions which reduce stress. The directionless life is not the happiest to look back on.Quote: Here comes your quote.
  48. 48. Chapter 6For Love and MoneyDelamar Theater
  49. 49. For Love and MoneyI believe that when we do what we love meaning we enjoy it and are good at it the money will eventually flow, as long as we believe we deserve it and we ask for it and willing to accept it. But creative, rightbrained people are usually not driven by money. Dont manage it very well, and have some funny stories about it. For instance, there are artists bohemians who believe that they must starve to create real art and that they cant have a juicy income and remain honest and true to their vision. That somehow accepting money for ones art is selling out and giving up some of ones independence. Lets face it, money does buy freedom (as does a total disregard of it, I guess). I have had money and struggled. Money did not make me happy, it just created a whole new set of challenges. When I was broke, I found out that wasnt the answer either. The solution is to have inner happiness, so that you can enjoy your riches.
  50. 50. If youre unwilling to live on the street (or with your mother), you need to consider money somewhere in your story. How to make money doing what I love? You can do that, by answering the following questions:What specfic annual income do you need to live abundantly, not just comfortably?What are your minimum monthly financial needs?How much money would it take, to make you feel successful?What are you doing to pay off your debt?Where can you cut back?What are some other sources of income?What about part-time work?What are you unwilling to do for money? What negative stories do you tell yourself about money which holds you back?How does it feel to be broke? Quote: Here comes your quote. How does it feel to be able to buy the things you want, when you want them, and still have some left over for a rainy day? How much money (exactly) would you need, to be able to pursue your dream.
  51. 51. Whats your heros journey?Your heros journey, should you choose to accept it, is the overriding story to base your life and career on. This gives your life clarity and focus, without stifling or restricting you. A heros journey story is told to inspire you, not to impress others. It reflects your inner desires and values, as well as the directions for your life. Its a power tool and should not be rushed. It may be best to start by writing everything you want to be, do, have and how you will serve others. Then cut out the repetition and keep cutting it down, until it is no more than two sentences long. Memorize this story,internalize this story and live this story. Your heros journey should include an inner goal, what it will take to please you, your deepest desires and dreams. Youll also want to include an outer goal, which is how you will serve others. This outer goal is important, because it will usually point out how youll make money by reaching you inner goal.
  52. 52. Quote: Here comes your quote.Your heros journey story does not need to include your desire to have a Porsche, a beach house in the South of France or the best tables at the Leidseplein, however.Think about it. How badly do you really want this? Be careful what you wish for. Why do you want it? If you can establish the motive, than the means and opportunity fall into place.Fill in the blanks: I would like to work in.. doing and to be known for?- Narrow it down. Be specific. -This will help you focus on whats best for you. Not whats okay, good, or better, but whats BEST. This will keep you focused from day to day and year by year. Having a hard time developing a heros journey story? How about just a theme for the year? Make this your year to do something special. Okay, Im assuming you have come up with a heros journey story or a theme. Thats your goal. Now write it down.Be honest. How many stories can you spin at once, before it all comes crashing down? Most creatives can and want to do many things. Perhaps you can do it all at once. More likely you can do some now, some later. If you want to be the best in one thing, you have to focus on that one thing and let the other stuff go. Whats your style? What are you willing to give up, at least for a little while?
  53. 53. Tragic stories, tragic stories, tragic storiesSelf limiting stories hold back many creative heroes from reaching their goals. Many people for instance, a great many indeed, have the dream of writing a book. I hear it all the time. Undiscovered writers. Yet, only a fraction of them, ever do it. It remains the elusive goal. I think, its more a case of wanting to have written, rather than do the writing. Unless you have a ghostwriter, a book will not write itself. Besides. For most people, the goal is to sell a book. To sell a book, you first must write it (or at least a proposal). Commit it to paper, page by page. Well, thats the part that can be work. Its tough enough with a positive story Out of focusYou can better focus on using these techniques:Keep your story in front of your face.Many creatives, inventive and imaginative people have struggled with an inability to focus, at one time or another. The most successful have used this fault to their benefit.Make a story board.Make a game of it.Think of a positive story.On the other hand, you can learn to overcome your inability to focus when it is important or when things challenge and interest you.Find a story partner.Talk to other people about your stories.Focusing is not an easy thing to do. At any given moment, you have an infinite number of choices. The trick is to base your choices on your passion, where your focus is optimal.Surround yourself with other people who are working towardgoals.
  54. 54. Excuses for Not Having a Heros Journey Story, and Why Theyre Bogus If you havent already taken the steps outlined in this journey, you may recognize yourself in one of the follow excuses. As creative people, we can come up with some pretty clever rationalizations for not having written stories with missions, quests and goals. And theyre all bogus. I already have goals. Fair enough.Are they written down? Can you spell them out? True great stories with quests the kind that work anyway are written down. As a result, they can be reviewed, revamped and recalled, inspiring your everyday actions and decisions. I set New Years resolutions every January and by February Im back to my old ways. Goal setting doesnt work.Quote: Here comes your quote.There is a big difference between the heros journey goals and resolutions. One works and the other doesnt. Resolutions are often unrealistic and impulsive. You are initially excited about them, but there is no real commitment, so youre quickly discouraged and distracted. Written stories, on the other hand, involve some real soul searching. When youre doing what you really want to do, youre likely to follow through. One day, your statutes will be found in the Rijksmuseum!
  55. 55. Setting goals is overwhelming, complicated, and too much work!This excuse really boils down to not knowing how to set goals. Read this travel guide and youll start to learn a lot about yourself, which makes telling your great story easier. Im too busy living my life, man. Besides, you cant know whats going to happen in the future.Live for today, we can all die tomorrow right? Wrong. Youll live a lot longer. That gives you a lot of life to live with or without a great story you tell yourself, about yourself. Having a written story gives peace of mind, clarity of thought, and hope for the future. It motivates you, guiding your daily decisions so you can make the most of that unforeseeable future. Written goals will make me boring, predictable and stifle my creativity.Okay, write them in pencil. Change or refine them as often as you like. But, get them down on paper first. Otherwise, youre likely to be bored, frustrated and stifled the very things you want to avoid. You dont have to set your goals in concrete. But, if theyre in sand, the tides can come and wash them away. Setting real goals involves selfknoledge, and self-knowledge alone can help you chart a better course.Quote: Here comes your quote.I dont have time to write my story.Make it a priority. Do what you can now, no matter how little it is. Youll be surprised at how little steps can add up. Being too busy can be a symptom that youre afraid to slow down and really take a look at youself and make decisions about what to do when you grow up. Your life is frittered away on endless details and mindless errands. My heros journey story? Thats a big step for me.Those excuses reflect closely held fears. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of change and fear of commitment. If you let fear get in the way, youll always play it safe, never write a book, open that business or take your paintings to the art gallery show. That can lead to feelings of anger, frustration, depression and lack of motivation. The answer is to take smaller steps. Telling yourself a great story, about how you dont mean to make sweeping changes, that youre not prepared for. You dont necessarily have to quit your job, you just need to take the first steps toward achieving what you want, or youll never get anywhere.
  56. 56. Chapter 7The Myths about Creative HeroesVondelpark
  57. 57. 7 The Myths aboutCreative HeroesThere are times in your life, when everything seems chaotic. You are in the full crisis mode, unsure of what to do next, unsure about everything really. What you think you need, is a vacation to escape your challenges or at least to sort things out.The truth is, you need to get a handle on your life and get control again, to make some sense out of the uncertainty. You dont need a vacation, you need a heros journey story. This will help you make it through the turbulence and come out on the other side, less stressed and stronger for it. Even the rightest right-brainers need some structure in their lives. Yet creative people resist traditional planning because they think it is too structured, too limiting. It doesnt have to be. In this travel guide you clarified your heros journey story. Once you have a great story, you need a plot to help you reach it. The plot is more like a map. It has footprints to show you which steps to take and landmarks which tells you when youre veering off course. And finally, a list of recommended provisions for this trip and the names of some guides or rolemodels, who can help you get where youre going, quickly.
  58. 58. The starting point of your story is here and now. The goal of your heros journey is to earn a living from what you love doing. Once you get there, in Amsterdam, you can do a whole lot of sightseeing in the Victoria and Albert museum, wander around and have a good time. From your new vantage point you may decide to set out for someplace new. Each time, the steps are the same: choose a destination, work out how to get there, and go.Quote: Here comes your quote.
  59. 59. The Great MythsIt helps to expose and explore some of the myths surrounding creative heroes, before you go any further. Myth:Your career is your life. The creative person changes careers, five to seven times, before they die on their job with their heels on. Its okay to be a job hopper in the creative arts. In fact, its more like a project-toproject kind of jumping around. Even if you think you want to stick with one job, one company your whole life (Are you sure you are a right brainer?): it isnt possible anymore. End of story.Reality:Myth:Work is a necessary evil.Reality: When you find work you love doing, youll never work another day in your life. Anyway, It wont feel like work. That is total actualization. Myth:Follow the path of the hot careers and you will be successful. Dont limit yourself to what is hot or popular. Follow your passion, your curiosity.Reality:
  60. 60. Myth:Once I make it, I am set for life.Myth:I want my first job to launch the rest of my life. A creative career is like a ride on a gigantic roller coaster. There is a slow and steady climb (which isnt much fun) as you pay your dues, work hard and make connections. Once you get on the top, you have just about a second to enjoy the view before you go plummeting to the bottom, ten times faster than the climb. Sometimes, that fast drop is your choice, sometimes it isnt. The momentum of it carries you back up the next. The point is, that creative heroes dont go on a steady uphill climb. But, unlike other professions, they offer a lot of thrills too. If youre waiting for a job to start your life, stop waiting. First, you need a life. A sense of who you are and what you want to be. Then, you go looking for a job. Most people make a more lasting commitment to their second career, because by then, they have had time to figure out what they really want to be.Reality:Reality:
  61. 61. Myth:Quote: Here comes your quote.Myth:Quote: Here comes your quote.Changing your career will make everything okay.Some people seem to get all the lucky breaks. While there is no doubt the right career makes life much, much better, it wont make you better. A career change is external. If youre unhappy where you are now, take the time to discover why, before you leap into another situation. You make your own luck. Behind all those lucky breaks is a lot of legwork, preparation and planning. Being in the right place at the right time means putting yourself in a position to be at the right place (get out there) being prepared when opportunities arise and having the guts to grab your chance when it comes. Opportunities are everywhere, but without a clear story of what you want, you may be passing up many lucky breaks of your own.Reality:Myth:The most talented people get ahead. Talent can only take you so far. Having a vision, a quest, a great story and the willingness to treat your career as a business thats what gets you ahead.Reality:Reality:Myth:Entrepreneurs are born, not made. Its true, not everyone is cut out to make it on their own. It takes a certain type to be in business. But, creative people have many of the traits necessary to be successful business people. They also have some traits (like an allergic reation to detail work), that must be overcome.Reality:
  62. 62. Myth: They are simply not enough opportunities to make money with my passion.Myth:Do what you love and the money will follow. You only need one. Dont have a defeatist story, or youre already defeated. Somebody is going to get a book deal or record contract, or sell their software idea. Why couldnt it be you? If it were that simple, dont you think everyone would be making it bigtime? The real message behind this myth is, that it is much more pleasurable to do what you love for a living. Because you do your best work and work hard. As a result of those factors, the money finds you. Hopefully before you are dead.Myth:Myth:You have to be famous, to earn a fortune. Anyone who has had any degree of fame, will tell you it doesnt pay the bills. Being respected by your peers and adored by your audience is awesome, but there are plenty of people youve never heard of, who are quietly making millions. Fame is not the goal, it is a by product of doing good work.Reality: The only real artists, are starving artists. At least, they have some sense of integrity.Reality:Some creative enterprises simply do not pay well, no matter how many dues you pay. But, making money with your creative endeavors, does not mean youre a sellout. It means youre smart enough to find a market for what you do.Reality:Reality:
  63. 63. Myth:The more you make, the happier youll be. The more you make, the more you make. Money creates its own opportunities and challenges. Happiness depends on the way you earn your money.Reality:Myth:You cannot start at the top. Well. Actually, you can. Start your own business, and you will be owner, boss, CEO.Reality: Myth: There is no such thing as job security any more for creative heroes. Reality: Your job security is your talent and skills. Build on each experience, develop new skills and make key contacts along the way. Be willing to change, adapt, learn and reinvent yourself. Be a problem-solver and self-starter, innovative and productive. You will not only survive youll thrive.Myth:Its too late to start over.Reality: Its never too late to look for, and pursue, your passion. Over the hill just means that there is another hill waiting for you t climb.
  64. 64. Myth:Everyone is out to steal my ideas. Very few people have the intent, ability, follow through or malice, to steal your ideas. Dont let fear hold you back. Do what you can to protect yourself and your ideas, and then go out and spread your story. Make something happen.Reality:Myth:When you figure out what your dream is, everyone will help you.Reality: The sad thing is, that more people try to sabotage you than support you. Their insecurities and envy are their problem, not yours. Myth: If youre all over the place, youve got a better chance of catching a big break. Lack of focus is one of the biggest problems creative heroes have. In fact, I would say that focus is the difference between flourishing and floundering.Reality:Myth: Only anal retentive left-brainers try to plan out their lives and careers.Quote: Here comes your quote.Reality: Even creatives need a heros journey story the art of a loose plot with a tight vision quest, which will last throughout the ages.
  65. 65. Chapter 8Testdrive Your Dreamjob!Marcel Wanders Atelier
  66. 66. Testdrive Your Dreamjob! Creative heroes like to pursue different paths at once. If theyre all part of a great story of their career and life, all the better. A story title like designer of happiness, inventor of great games, performing the art of love, or storyteller of my own life, can get you started on a career path while youre still exploring possibilities.Dont get me wrong though. The more focused you are on what you want, the easier it will be to plan your career and the more opportunities will arise. If you can say youre a writer, or an architect, and define the unique medium you want to work in like an enormous tower you have an edge, a niche. Make a choice now, and you have an edge over all those wandering generalities out there. You can remain flexible and take advantage of opportunities within your niche. You can go as slowly as you want, but knowing where youre going also lets you go faster if you want. Right-brainers are big-picture people, but when it comes to detail (the devil is in the details), they get distracted. The possibilities are limitless, which makes the concept of planning a career overwhelming. The answer is to make a testdrive in your dreamjob. Work together with your heroes and heroines, who are successful in what you consider your dreamjob.
  67. 67. Make the Most of Your Testdrive!Who is doing what I want to do?What steps did they take to get there?What could I do to follow in their path?Whom could I ask how they did it?What obstacles might I face along the way?How will I deal with those obstacles?What are some possible solutions?What are the decision makers along the way looking for?What do I have to do to meet those needs?What will I need to acquire along the way?Where is the action happening?Where will I have to go to give myself a better shot?Where am I now?What can I do to close the gap between what I want and where Iam now?How can I build a tower from where I am to where I want to beWho can help me to reach my goal?
  68. 68. Where do I need to be to have the best chance to makethis happen?What skills do I need to acquire?What am I selling?Can I make a living out of this?Who is my audience?How can I reach them the best? Get it to them?Whats in it for them?How much do I want?How can I simplify the process?What do I need to do to support this?What steps do I need to take? In what order?What action can I take right now, today?
  69. 69. The Heros Journey TipsThe up-and-down cycles, common to the creative career, can cause financial trouble if you dont plan them. As someone who goes from project to project, creative people have to be disciplined enough to plan for the droughts, by saving some during the boom time so they dont go bust when it gets tight. But, dont be so afraid of the downtime that you take every job that comes your way. If you arent willing to let go of what you have and go for what you really want, you arent committed enough. And the fact is, the more you are willing to risk, the more likely you are to make it. It also seems that the less you care about and need money, the more it comes to you. When you get too involved in protecting what you have, it stifles your growth.Money both helps and hurts, when planning a career. Too much, and you get soft and are unwilling to take any risks. Too little, and you cant function. Even so, that is the highest obstacle people throw out when it gets down to the nitty gritty of planning a career. How do I survive while I make my move? How much do you need, bare minimum, to get by? What is your bottom line per month? Is there anything you can cut out, or lower that number while you get going? What is more important to you, time to work on your craft or a nice car, recreation or toys? Most people use material comforts to make up for lack of substance in their life, relationships or career. Is that what youre doing?
  70. 70. Who is in Control of Your Future?1. Success in a creative career is the result ofa. dumb luck. b. hard work and preparation, as well as being in the right place at the right time.2. What is the best description for how you feel about the market for creatives? a. Its extremely competitive and there arent enough good projects to go around. b. Somebody is going to be hired, and it should be me.3. Do you feel powerful or powerless? a. My life is controlled by others. b. My life is determined by my own actions.4. Can you control what happens to you in the future? a. Yes, by taking the advice from fortune tellers. b. Yes, by setting a goal and making a plan to reach it.5. How do you see your life two years from now? a. Why plan for the future when I could be dead tomorrow? b. I will be able to support myself as creative hero.6. The future of my chosen profession is: a. Just a minute. I call my fortune teller. b. Ive checked it out, and my field is growing by leaps and bounds. Ill probably need to learn some new skills, though.
  71. 71. Playing Against the OddsWhen you feel as though it is pointless to plan, because of the overwhelming odds against you, read about the projects of your rolemodels. The enormous competition and obstacles they faced.Do you have what it takes? Imagine you are in a room full of people. Lets start helping some of them to the exits. Those who have no talent or training, please leave the room. (Hey, where do you think youre going? That doesnt mean you!) Remove all the people who arent willing to sacrifice and pay their dues. Take away the people who dont have the fortitude to make it. Eliminate the people who dont believe enough in themselves. Remove people who sabotage their success. Gone, are people who have no story, no plan and who are wandering around aimlessly. - Now, look around. -There are still people there. But, there is room enough for you to participate in this great project. You are unique and with a great story and a plan. You can make a start and work your way to where you want to be.
  72. 72. Chapter 9Life is a pitchBeurs van Berlage
  73. 73. 9Life is a pitchIn the world of creatives its all about the pitch. Many creative careers are dependent on being a good pitch person. Its part salesmanship, part stage performance and part public speaking skills, mixed in with a bit of magic. In some fields, being able to pitch is a matter of career life or death. Its much easier when you know they need what youve got and how you can help them get what they want. Start by asking: Who needs what I have? How badly to they want it? The more you know about and are aware of the answers to these two questions, the less pressure will be on you, and the easier it becomes to pitch yourself.
  74. 74. How to Sell without Selling Your SoulDont treat selling as if it were beneath you. If you dont think you can do it, you cant. The sooner you accept that you have to do it, the better. Everyone sells something: stories, ideas, talent, skills, products, dreams, energy, creativity. If you have something to offer, and you want to earn money for it, you sell. That doesnt mean you cant have fun with it.Selling your talent is tough. It may even be distasteful, especially if you dont believe in yourself. Many creatives defend their inability to sell as an unwillingness to sell out. Get off your high horse. I am not the devil, because I believe you have to get your story out. As a creative hero you are always pitching your story, wherever you are, whomever youre talking to. You pitch your parents so theyll get off your back and stop talking about that other career. You pitch people you want to work for, and those you want to work for you. Your style is a pitch of its own, a demonstration of your uniqueness. To get paid, to make a living, you have to sell. You dont have to lie, cheat, deceive, or wear a suit. To sell effectively, you must help people, heal them, entertain them, fill their needs. These are good things.Quote: Here comes your quote.
  75. 75. Try to know the story of your client.People like to do business with those who know what the hell they are talking about. Take the Heros Journey questionaire in this book with your clients!! They will test you for sure. You need them to say yes to your plan, tape, project, promotion. You must motivate them. Find out what it will take to get them to say yes. Dont get hung up on the first no.People want what they cant have.Sold out. Standing room only. For a limited time. Im booked solid through this month, but I think I could squeeze you in the first week of next month. The principle of scarcity. Shut up and listen.Ask questions and let them do the talking. Dont ever ask a question to which they can answer: No! Trust Your Gut.Use your intuition to judge the situation, and react. Quote: Here comes your quote.
  76. 76. People buy from friends. Women especially.So, make more friends, treat people like your friends. Borrow other peoples friends. Keep in touch with friends. Get referrals, testimonials, leads and work them. Be passionate.Being pumped will influence people more than what you actually buy. Dont be dull!Dont be desperate. Interject some humor, an anecdote, a personal story, an example. Entertain. Personalize it with your wit. Relax and have some fun. Be ready to pitch on a moments notice.Have your verbal story ready to go. It should be so well rehearsed that it doesnt sound rehearsed. Lead with your best stuff.And keep it short. Be clear and concise in yuor story about what youre selling. One to two minutes is a good pitch.
  77. 77. Sincerity sells.Dont be a phony. Be yourself. Always be sincere. Persistence pays off.Always have something to illustrate your story.A demo, book, portfolio, picture. Carry them with you at all times. No matter what you are selling, stress the benefits. People are influenced by WIIFM (whats in it for me). Tap into that. What is their dream, their desire? Sell them on it. Be reliable,so they will want to hire you again. Never miss a deadline. If they say no, ask for a referralof someone else who might like what you have to offer.Quote: Here comes your quote.
  78. 78. Dont take no personally.If you dont get it, who did? Why? What did they do? What do they have that I dont? How can I improve? Dont handicap yourself by saying: Im not a salesperson.You can be whatever you want to be. Recognize a poor fit when you see oneand back down gracefully. Give them an easy exit, and they may recommend you to someone else. Simplify your story,so that it is crystal clear. In general, youll have about 30 seconds of someones attention before they lose interest. Energy and enthusiasm are catching.Youll be more likely to make someone else excited, if youre excited first. (This works in many areas of life, not just in your career). Quote: Here comes your quote.
  79. 79. If selling yourself is a problem, get an agent.An agent serves as a buffer. They cover their fees by getting you more money than you get on your own. Some will work for you on a contingency basis. Promises, PromisesThere a two rules to keep in mind in your business career. First, when you give your word, always keep it. Secondly, dont give your word. Or, not lightly anyway. Dont say youll take care of it when its one of the million things you already have to do. Its far better to underpromise and overdeliver.Practice and be ready.For objections and negatives. Treat it like a game. End with a call to action. Put yourself in their shoes.What would it take to get me to buy, if I were them? Take the risk away.Do it on spec. Consigment. Barter. Guarantee.Quote: Here comes your quote.
  80. 80. If you stick with that simple rule youll come out ahead, and still have time for a life. Other rules youll be tested on are: Protect your reputation with your life.Dont put your name on anything you dont believe in. Dont pass the buck.Never say: Thats not my job., or Thats not my fault..Quote: Here comes your quote.Dont be a whiner.Shut up and do what needs to be done. Be a problem solver not a problem child. Be a doer, not just a sayer.I believe we are judged by what we say, but, more important, by what we say we will do. Be known as someone whose word is gold, who gets things done. Quote: Here comes your quote.
  81. 81. Chapter 10Be Your Own HeroHeineken Experience
  82. 82. 0 1 Be Your Own HeroWhat many people see as faults and flaws in the right-brained person, are assets when it comes to working for yourself. Things like intuition, imagination and innovation are exactly the things needed. Dont fault yourself for not fitting into the nine-to-five world. Be glad that you have what it takes to work outside-the-box. Most creatives, who are self-employed, work over sixty hours a week. Why would anyone want to work long hours? Because they dont want to do anything else. Your work is like your child, you want to take care of it, nurture it, grow it, and despite all the diapers you have to change (and whats in them), you love it. Maybe you shouldnt marry your work, but it becomes a very tempting mistress. You have the freedom to make your own hours, pick and choose which projects you will work on (and which clients you will work with). You dont have some idiote telling you what to do all the time. You can make as much, or as little as you want. The only glass ceiling is the amount of work you are willing to do.
  83. 83. Theres more. You control your own destiny. The rewards, that come from all that hard work, belong to you. You own your ideas. There is an unlimited income potential. Its both challenging and constantly changing; its hard work, but you feel as if you are hardly working, because it is a labor of love. You set the priorities you can work less and have more free time, or work more and make more money. You set the hours. Working for yourself is great. Half of all marriages succeed. So, do half of all businesses. When the love is there! Quote: Here comes your quote.
  84. 84. Creative Heroes in BusinessCreatives are like children.Wrong. You may have a childlike quality, but you are not childish. Youd be happy playing all day long.So, the creative person likes a good time more than the next woman or man, is that such a crime of passion? The creative often considers work as play, and I personally think, thats the best way to live. Youre defensive about your way of doing something.This one may not be so far off the mark. Youve probably had to defend yourself, most of your life. It might help you, to be able to prove that you know what youre doing.Quote: Here comes your quote.There are several misconceptions about creative people, that may keep you from becoming self-employed. Although, there may be very good reasons why you should not attempt selfemployment, these are not among them.You can come up with ideas quickly.The creative process is a heros journey. The constant pressure, to come up with inspiration on demand, can be wearing. You need time to conceptualize, to let ideas grow, to do your best work. Time management can help give you that time, even when nobody else will.
  85. 85. You dont care about business.Just because you are creative, doesnt mean you dont yearn for success, for recognition, for financial security. And you actually have a natural gift in this direction if you learn to recognize and use it. Theres only one way to be organizedand you cant handle that kind of regimented, structured and rightangle style of time management. This is half-right. You probably cant and definitely shouldt try to regiment your lifestyle, killing your creativity in the process. But, there are many ways to be organized and youre creative enough to find one that will work for you.Organized means sterile,cold, dull, rigid, or inflexible. Wrong. Organized means, being able to find what you need when you need it. You better work under pressure.What does that have to do with anything, except eventual heart failure, ulcers, or stroke? It is okay to turn up the heat from time to time, if you do so on your own terms, keep it under your control. You were born disorganized,born with some sort of cleaning disability. Thats ridicule. You can organize yourself; its just that nobody else can organize you. As long as you can function and those around you dont want to kill you, whats the problem?
  86. 86. Youre antisocial.You do need your space at times. Working in hotels or at Madam Tussaud. Youre a little crazy.Fou? No. Off center, maybe. Dont keep trying to judge yourself by irrelevant standards. Its a colossal waste of time. Youre stubborn.Single-minded. Hah! Youre more likely to have ten or twenty things going on in that incredible brain of yours. And theres nohting wrong with being incredible, when you know youre right. Youre absentminded and forgetful.If you have ten things going in your mind at once, its understandable that you lose one, every now and then. If youre totally involved in a project, its not surprising that everything else falls by the wayside. I call it focus. Quote: Here comes your quote.
  87. 87. Do What You LoveThe key to success for creative heroes is doing what you love. Turn a hobby into a business venture. Opportunities exists in the following career paths. And so many more. Even still to be invented. By you probably.Photographer, designer, travel guide, fashion guru, writer, musician, artist, advertising man or woman, jewelry designer, editor, wedding planner, consultant, movie director, dancer, the list is rapidly becoming endless. The key is to turn your talents and interests into a business, something you wouldnt mind working (or playing) on for fifty, sixty and sometimes seventy hours a week.Quote: Here comes your quote.Quote: Here comes your quote.
  88. 88. Think Big, Start GreatNearly everyone has a great idea for a business. So, what stops them from taking the plunge? They think you need hundreds of thousands of euros in start up money. Many creative heroes of Amsterdam did it, without any money. When you start small, your mistakes are smaller too.If you take it slow, youre not likely to burn your business down. And if you keep your must haves down to needs and can affords, youre more likely to survive any bad initial investments. You will make mistakes. Dont waste a lot of time worrying about it. Spend that time learning from your mistakes, and youre way ahead of the game. There are other advantages to starting small.Your business can be more flexible and offer a higher-touch kind of service in this high-tech world. Starting small also means that you need less capital. With a lower overhead, you keep more of what you make. Chances are that when you start small you will have to play all the business roles and learn to do it all. This will serve you well as you grow bigger and start to delegate. Quote: Here comes your quote.
  89. 89. The Lean Years Make You More CreativeThe lesson that Ive learned over the years, is that lack of money makes you hungry and a lack of resources makes you more creative. The point is: you have to have a powerful story to tell yourself your heros journey story.You have to believe in yourself. Hang in there and things will turn around. Stay positive and work hard. Have a goal and hang on to it, knowing that you will come out on the other side, stronger and better for taking on the struggle. Youre making an investment in yourself and the future.
  90. 90. Business Stories and Business Plans Every book I have ever read, on being self-employed, includes a chapter on business plans. Do you need one? My answer: No!. What you need is a great business story! How do you like this answer? The power of your business story moves you and moves other people (partners, employees, clients). Keep it short. The point here is, you will most likely run your business improviste. So, keep it fairly flexible and use your intuition, rather than a bunch of numbers. I know this goes against conventional left-brain wisdom. But, I say: Write a great business story of one page, backed up with a plot of two pages, more of a global view than a streep map of your business.. I think that the two page Heros Journey story, is short enough that you will actually look at it now and again, after you write it and tell it again and again to partners and clients. I also believe, that spending two or three months writing a business plan is a waste of time, when you could be out doing business with clients. The following is my short course on dos and donts for starting up a business.Dont waste your time (and money) making everything perfect, before you begin. Youre as ready as youll ever be. Your idea of what you are and what you need will change with experience, so dont lock yourself too tight at the start. Make it up as you go on your heros journey. Dont be afraid to spread your story out there. Yes, people will copy you and steal your ideas. Let them spread your story, in a manner, that makes your business story stronger. Dont leap before you think. Partnerships are like marriages. Some last until death do them part; in others, the partners end up wanting to kill each other. The creative person should consider carefully before committing to a partnership. If the partners bring individual talents and skills that dont conflict, it can work. Do be aware of what works and what doesnt. Youll have some ideas, or explore some marketing areas that just dont work financially, no matter how brilliant they seem at first. Drop the things that dont bring in the revenue. Cut your losses.
  91. 91. Do come up with a good name.Brainstorm it, with as many people as you can. Try to keep it short one or two syllables. Try to connect it with your business story, in as many ways as possible.Do be your own niche.Be your product or service be your story. Live your story. Believe your story. Nothing sells like authenticity, like sincerity.Quote: Here comes your quote.
  92. 92. Heineken ExperienceCreative heroes in Amsterdam have often created multiple profit centers. Multiple streams of income. Rather than focusing on a single source of income, the lesson is to develop several. This covers you during seasonal slumps, tough times and boredom (you can switch off from business to business or client to client). It also helps you spread the risk.The miracle is to build your businesses, so that they support one another. You sell the same travel story in different markets, or different stories to the same market. You can sell books, give seminars based on your books, license others to do your seminars and market different products and services based on your books. Publicity from one promotes another.Build one miracle venture at a time, get it up and running, and then move on. And become a legend in time.
  93. 93. Chapter 11Meet Your Own HeroesMadame Tussaud
  94. 94. 1 1 Meet Your Own Heroes Having to do everything yourself, limits your growth and your career. Control freaks struggle. If you plan to write, design, direct, produce, act, edit and publish everything, you miss out and you burn out. Even the most creative person can only be in so many places at once. More important, you can only be an expert in so many different things. Spread yourself thin, and things start falling through the cracks. Your own Heroes!!The difference between successful creative heroes and u